Waste drug theft did not pay

The last of four co-defendants was sentenced Monday to a year in federal custody for his role in a conspiracy to intercept and resell prescription painkillers slated for destruction as medical waste via a disposal company in Vista, authorities said.

The defendant, John Francis Bonavita, 34, beginning in May 2009, planned with co-defendants Michael Andrew Girvin, Larry Ray Martin and Joseph Andrew Daly, to intercept medications from Enserv West LLC, a medical waste disposal company in Vista, where Martin and Girvin were employed at the time, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego. The conspiracy continued into July 2010.

Girvin, Daly and Martin pleaded guilty earlier this year to separate charges, receiving sentences ranging from 12 months in custody to 3 years probation.


The theft of pharmaceuticals from clinical wastes is well know, generally by addicts searching for residues in sharps containers. Others have stolen in hospital, generally hospital employees with a drug habit. And of course theft of drugs from clinical wastes by disposal staff and waste handlers is not unknown, but never on such an organised scale.


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